GameStop has now launched a new digital asset wallet ahead of its NFT marketplace launch in the second quarter of the fiscal year. It can store cryptocurrencies and NFTs and uh, what exactly are we doing here? Here’s the official announcement from today:
“GameStop Corp. today announced it has launched its digital asset wallet to allow gamers and others to store, send, receive and use cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) across decentralized apps without having to leave their web browsers. The GameStop Wallet is a self-custodial Ethereum wallet. The wallet extension, which can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store, will also enable transactions on GameStop’s NFT marketplace, which is expected to launch in the second quarter of the Company’s fiscal year.”
GameStop is looking for a way to turn around recent losses and survive in an increasingly digital era, where the market is now pushing 70-75% digital sales, depending on the title, and it’s only going up every year. And since GameStop can’t even stock physical next-gen consoles with all the shortages, they are doing some…interesting things, like this big bet on crypto and NFTs, even as the market has dramatically contracted in recent months.
NFT sales are down 92% since they peaked in late 2021, and have increasingly made headlines with large scale thefts and scams that have seen consumers lose their “investments.” But because many companies only jumped on this trend once it peaked, and it takes a while to set something like this up, we are now seeing things like…GameStop setting up an NFT marketplace later this summer, when it’s not clear what the market might be for such a thing if interest keeps declining at this pace.
Visitors observe Non-Fungible Token (NFT) works at an exhibition entitled Indo NFT Festiverse at the … [+]
There’s also the central question of whether GameStop’s core audience overlaps with the idea of NFT collection at all. Gamers, at least most of those that are into traditional console and PC games, have roundly rejected the concept of NFTs, scaring away most major publishers like EA and Ubisoft from implementation. I suppose maybe the idea here is to lean into GameStop’s image as a meme stock, as that crowd, the type that pumped up GME stock, may be more prone to speculative assets like NFTs, which is perhaps how this idea was born.
It’s just hard to look at this as something that’s going to do anything significant to help GameStop’s bottom line, and it makes them look even more behind the times than usual, attempting to capitalize on a flash-in-the-pan trend that is already watching its bottom fall out in many places. It’s also not yet clear what exactly these NFTs will be. Given that it’s GameStop, you could imagine a world where they would sell…gaming NFTs based on your favorite characters. Collect Master Chief, Kratos and Mario for your GameStop wallet! Except no, there’s absolutely no way that those IP holders would lease out their icons for such a project, and any game company that does try to issue NFTs for something like this is going to get roasted by fans, the way we’ve seen happen dozens of times already any time NFTs are brought up in the core gaming industry.
We’ll see what happens if this NFT marketplace ever does actually make it to fruition in a few months here, but it’s hard to be even a little bit optimistic about the potential success of this.
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